Toque of the Town

Wish kid Tyrell mixes it up with Hawai‘i’s top chefs.

At 10 years old, Tyrell of Salt Lake has endured the emotional and physical challenges of Crohn’s disease, a rare and chronic digestive disorder. However, despite painful struggles with the incurable, life-threatening disease, his greatest passion in life is cooking—for family, friends and even total strangers. He hopes to one day be a professional chef for the highest ranking of discernable palates in the country. His life’s ambition is to one day be the executive chef for the White House.


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Make-A-Wish supporters greet Tyrell on the day of Make-A-Wish Hawaii’s Waffles for Wishes benefit (photo courtesy Make-A-Wish Hawaii).

His culinary journey with Make-A-Wish Hawaii began at the Sheraton Waikiki, preparing the main course for the annual Wish! Gala with the expert team at the Sheraton. With the guidance of executive chef Matt Naula, the young, aspiring chef de cuisine was treated to a master cooking class, creating a tantalizingly tender beef tenderloin with sautéed vegetables, and acquired his first professional chef jacket and toque—it wouldn’t be the last.

At the annual Waffles for Wishes, a benefit champagne brunch hosted by the Young Leaders of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, the budding culinary star took on the role of sous chef for restaurants set up at stations around the IBM Courtyard. Tyrell shared his talents with the likes of Morimoto Waikiki, MW Restaurant and the new concept debut by Koa Café.

At each station, Chef Tyrell put his skills to the test, helping MW Restaurant prepare a Kahuku cornbread waffle tamale with avocado salsa; garnishing Peking duck summer rolls with spicy hoisin chili sauce with the chefs at Morimoto Waikiki; and liberally top-ping the mocha waffles with guava purée and powdered sugar with soul-soothing dollops of whipped cream for the patrons at Koa Café.

Tyrell’s wish experience gave him several opportunities to cook with professional chefs in Hawai‘i, but his real wish had just begun. Wish kid Tyrell’s true wish would take him and his family on a food and monument tour of Washington, D.C., where he might one day serve as the executive chef of the White House, inspired by his childhood dreams come true.

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